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How much do you intervene on member-to-member conflicts?


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Conflict is a natural part of any community, and human relationships will always encounter obstacles.  

One of the 'problems' that's occurred in my primary community is that members tend to escalate every last little issue they have with other members up to me, the administrator.  They didn't like what a member posted in a comment. They got downvoted. They didn't think another member belonged.  

Could contain: Person, Face, Head, Cartoon, Body Part, Hand

Do you encourage members to talk to each other first when conflicts arise? Do you offer a playbook and encourage them to address themselves in a constructive way?  Are you a mediator or a rule-setter?  

The bigger question is: how do we provide transparency and a guide for productive anger?   

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Until now, there has been no member-to-member conflict in the communities I run and manage. However, I have seen this frequently happen in other communities and I have also been directly involved in a few conflicts. I even left the community because I was not satisfied with the way the admin handled the conflict I was involved in.

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11 hours ago, Nomad said:

I even left the community because I was not satisfied with the way the admin handled the conflict I was involved in.

That's interesting. Surprised to hear that even though you were not directly involved, you still left.  Can you share more details on what happened here and why you felt like you needed to leave? 

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Luckily I can't say I have run into any member-to-member conflicts that have been a little too far. 

When anything like this is brought to my attention I tend to speak to both parties and encourage them to speak with one another to sort things out and be civil, of course in some cases this is not always possible and because of that sometimes as a forum leader you do need to step in.

I have always been one for helping others get on and to address issues in a civil manner but you do always have to be prepared for things to go south. 

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I have seen member-to-member conflict in multiple communities, and most of the time, admin or staff try to mitigate the conflict. Some are good at conflict resolution whereas some hurt member's sentiments and this member leave the community. By the way, I do not have direct experience related to member-to-member conflict resolution.

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On 12/16/2023 at 5:41 AM, JoelR said:

That's interesting. Surprised to hear that even though you were not directly involved, you still left.  Can you share more details on what happened here and why you felt like you needed to leave? 

I was an active poster on a general chat forum. The forum had organized a photo contest. One of the members copied random photos from the internet and submitted them as an entry. I complained about this saying it was a copyright violation. Instead of penalizing this user, the admin removed my "complain post."

I left the forum.

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My forum became the leading site in my market segment when the two other forums at the time were full of nothing but fighting and ugliness. 15 years later those forums no longer exist and I am still here. 

I enforce a non-confrontational culture in my forum. It is about being consistent over time. My readers know I have a very low tolerance for bad manners so it just does not happen anymore. There was a day when I would ban more than a user a month now it is one or two per year at most.

I also do not allow off-topic conversations about divisive topics. Anything that even smells like politics is forbidden unless it applies to the greater subject of the forum. 

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